You feel like you are doing everything right (you’re even using one of the comment plugins I wrote about a last month.). You’re writing amazing content; your analytics are great…yet no one is commenting. What gives? Comments are an important part of the health of our blogs and blog posts in general, so it might be time to take a good hard look at your blogging process and see if somewhere, somehow, you are inadvertently slamming the door in the face of potential commenters. Here are a few key points to ponder when trying to get more comments on your blog posts:
No One Wants to Be First: Just like no one wants to get out on the dance floor first, oftentimes readers are reluctant to be the first one to step forward and comment. Once comments begin to appear, readers feel more comfortable doing so as well and a “monkey-see-monkey-do” mentality comes into play. Enlist the help of friends or even a staff member comment first and “break the ice” so to speak.
Are you Being a Know It All?: We know you want to be thorough and use your blog to showcase your knowledge. But if you sharing everything and are not leaving room for additional information, you are, in a sense, shutting the door to comments. Try sharing only a piece of, or only one angle of, a certain topic and invite readers to expand upon your content at the very end of the post in the form of a comment.
Are You Encouraging Interaction? Invite other viewpoints by asking for it at the very end of each blog post. Asking questions like, “Anyone have anything to add to this subject?” or “What are your secrets for ____? Please use the comment box below to share your ideas and suggestions.” Inserting a call-to-action might be stating the obvious, but might just be the nudge your readers need.Encourage blog comments by asking for other viewpoints at the end of each blog post.Click To Tweet
Be Relevant: If your blog has become a ghost town for comments, make sure you are sharing information that is of interest to your readers and target market. Just because topics are interesting to YOU, doesn’t mean it’s interesting to THEM. Go back in your blog post history and take the time to view the posts that seem to strike a chord with readers. If your blogging efforts have gone off course, and what you are sharing doesn’t seem to be appealing to your readers lately, this is the perfect time to adjust your sails and chart a course that will mirror past successes.
The Street Runs Both Ways: Respond to your comments and don’t ignore those who have taken the time to comment. Readers want to see that you are watching and that you care. Responding to commenters is a great way to give positive feedback which will encourage more comments in the future.
**Negative Commenters: Not all comments on your blog will be positive and helpful. Some may be downright rude, conflicting or contradictory. Though negative comments are rarely enjoyable, they are not always a bad thing. If someone if being blatantly inappropriate or vulgar, by all means block and delete. But if a reader is simply expressing a conflicting viewpoint, being gracious goes a long way. These situations will also give you a chance to, in a professional way; establish your authority and knowledge by acknowledge their viewpoint and then adding to it. You might respond with something like … “Thank you for your thoughts. Many people do feel this way, but might also find your comment useful as well.” Two of the worst things you can do are not respond to negative comments or backpedal on your information. Negative comments are a great way to showcase your professionalism, credibility and knowledge to the others who may be watching and waiting to see how you handle things.
What do you do to engage your readers and encourage comments?